The real debt is to the rights of the people of Argentina

7 December 2012

The retention of the frigate Liberty in Ghana, and the recent New York court decisions ordering the country to pay new, multimillion dollar sums, reveal the persistence of a serious debt problem that continues to condition our present and future. In the most immediate, what is at stake is a new payment equivalent to more than the entire national budget for housing and urban development during the year 2013, to speculative funds that never invested in the people´s welfare nor did they accept to restructure their claims after the economic collapse and suspension of debt payments in 2001.

We denounce as unethical and unscrupulous the actions of so-called vulture funds Vulture funds
Vulture fund
Investment funds who buy, on the secondary markets and at a significant discount, bonds once emitted by countries that are having repayment difficulties, from investors who prefer to cut their losses and take what price they can get in order to unload the risk from their books. The Vulture Funds then pursue the issuing country for the full amount of the debt they have purchased, not hesitating to seek decisions before, usually, British or US courts where the law is favourable to creditors.
. We reject as unjust, the decisions of foreign courts, originally imposed under extorsion, that do not take into consideration the fraudulence, illegality, and illegitimacy of the process of Argentine indebtedness, totally unrelated to the interests of the people and carried out behind their backs.

We stress to all who intervene in this matter (national authorities, holders of bonds issued by Argentina, the various judges, governments, financial institutions, and economic interests, national and international public opinion) that this is a systemic issue, and we call for a resolution that takes into consideration the illegitimacy of the debt claimed and the right to sovereignty, leaving behind the conditionalities imposed which included the resignation of sovereignty and placing the rights of persons and of peoples as the uttermost priority.

This situation must be dealt with on the basis of truth and justice, given that the debt claimed by these speculative funds is a crime against humanity that continues today. The bonds are direct descendants of the debt accumulated in Argentina at a cost of 30,000 detained-disappeared, thousands of women and men tortured, killed, exiled, and imprisoned, kidnapped and missing children, to support the civilian-military dictatorship that ruled the country between 1976 and 1983 and force it into the neoliberal straitjacket. That debt was the subject of a federal court ruling in 2000, which established that it was largely the result of fraudulent and arbitrary acts. A federal prosecutor´s opinion requesting its annulment and several court cases covering successor debt are still pending.

The Argentine people have no reason to pay a debt about which they were not consulted nor did they benefit and whose legitimacy and legality has not been proven. Unlawful acts cannot generate lawful consequences nor can they be subsequently validated, irrespective of the institution or mechanism. The Argentine government - and all governments - also have the right and obligation to prioritize human rights above any commercial or financial claim.

Our country must recover its sovereignty and those responsible for having surrendered it, behind the people’s back and whether bowing to pressure from speculators and lenders, governments, and international institutions or merely wanting to pay or go further into debt, must be tried and punished.

All this can be done if there is political will. The country is trapped by a process of indebtedness and an institutional framework gestated in times of dictatorial repression and neoliberal offensive. This needs to be modified in order to ensure full respect for human rights and the rights of people, as well as to ensure a true NEVER AGAIN.

We therefore demand:

1. Audit the debt in a public, comprehensive, and participatory manner in order to separate the illegitimate from the legitimate debt, beginning with the pretended entitlements of the so-called vulture funds and suspending all payments until its conclusion;

2. Annul the contracts, laws, treaties, and agreements tainted by unconstitutionality, extorsive conditionalities, and other similar grounds, and that establish the resignation of national sovereignty and the waiver of jurisdiction to extra-national courts, including for example, the bonds and adherence to the ICSID ICSID The International Centre for the Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) is a World Bank arbitration mechanism for resolving disputes that may arise between States and foreign investors. It was established in 1965 when the Washington Convention of that year entered into force.

Contrary to some opinions defending the fact that ICSID mechanism has been widely accepted in the American hemisphere, many States in the region continue to keep their distance: Canada, Cuba, Mexico and Dominican Republic are not party to the Convention. In the case of Mexico, this attitude is rated by specialists as “wise and rebellious”. We must also recall that the following Caribbean States remain outside the ICSID jurisdiction: Antigua and Barbuda, Belize, Dominica (Commonwealth of) and Suriname. In South America, Brazil has not ratified (or even signed) the ICSID convention and the 6th most powerful world economy seems to show no special interest in doing so.

In the case of Costa Rica, access to ICSID system is extremely interesting: Costa Rica signed the ICSID Convention in September, 1981 but didn’t ratify it until 12 years later, in 1993. We read in a memorandum of GCAB (Global Committee of Argentina Bondholders) that Costa Rica`s decision resulted from direct United States pressure due to the Santa Elena expropriation case, which was decided in 2000 :
"In the 1990s, following the expropriation of property owned allegedly by an American investor, Costa Rica refused to submit the dispute to ICSID arbitration. The American investor invoked the Helms Amendment and delayed a $ 175 million loan from the Inter-American Development Bank to Costa Rica. Costa Rica consented to the ICSID proceedings, and the American investor ultimately recovered U.S. $ 16 million”.

3. Confront the speculators challenging the fraudulence and illegitimacy of their claims.

4. Prosecute and punish those who illegitimately and unconstitutionally issued bonds, renouncing the country’s sovereignty and the rights and heritage of its people, starting with then president, Carlos Saul Menem, the economy minister, Domingo Cavallo, the attorneys of the treasury, participating banks such as Banker´s Trust and J.P. Morgan, and international financial institutions such as the World Bank World Bank
The World Bank was founded as part of the new international monetary system set up at Bretton Woods in 1944. Its capital is provided by member states’ contributions and loans on the international money markets. It financed public and private projects in Third World and East European countries.

It consists of several closely associated institutions, among which :

1. The International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD, 189 members in 2017), which provides loans in productive sectors such as farming or energy ;

2. The International Development Association (IDA, 159 members in 1997), which provides less advanced countries with long-term loans (35-40 years) at very low interest (1%) ;

3. The International Finance Corporation (IFC), which provides both loan and equity finance for business ventures in developing countries.

As Third World Debt gets worse, the World Bank (along with the IMF) tends to adopt a macro-economic perspective. For instance, it enforces adjustment policies that are intended to balance heavily indebted countries’ payments. The World Bank advises those countries that have to undergo the IMF’s therapy on such matters as how to reduce budget deficits, round up savings, enduce foreign investors to settle within their borders, or free prices and exchange rates.

International Monetary Fund
Along with the World Bank, the IMF was founded on the day the Bretton Woods Agreements were signed. Its first mission was to support the new system of standard exchange rates.

When the Bretton Wood fixed rates system came to an end in 1971, the main function of the IMF became that of being both policeman and fireman for global capital: it acts as policeman when it enforces its Structural Adjustment Policies and as fireman when it steps in to help out governments in risk of defaulting on debt repayments.

As for the World Bank, a weighted voting system operates: depending on the amount paid as contribution by each member state. 85% of the votes is required to modify the IMF Charter (which means that the USA with 17,68% % of the votes has a de facto veto on any change).

The institution is dominated by five countries: the United States (16,74%), Japan (6,23%), Germany (5,81%), France (4,29%) and the UK (4,29%).
The other 183 member countries are divided into groups led by one country. The most important one (6,57% of the votes) is led by Belgium. The least important group of countries (1,55% of the votes) is led by Gabon and brings together African countries.

Argentina, December, 2012


Acción por la Biodiversidad, Marcos Paz
Asamblea Permanente por los Derechos Humanos

Asamblea Permanente por los Derechos Humanos de La Matanza

Asoc. DDHH Cañada de Gómez, Su tribuna Diario de Opinión Revista Pagina Abierta

ATTAC Argentina

Autoconvocatoria: AMERICA VIVA, Lujan

Central de Trabajadores de la Argentina CTA

Centro Teológico Rajab, Buenos Aires

Colectivo de Comunicación Al DORSO

Colectivo Estamos En ViLo, Vicente López, Pcia. Bs. As

Comisión Organiz. Festivales por la Memoria y el Nunca Más, Florida, Pcia. Bs. As.

Convocatoria por la Liberación Nacional y Social, Frente Sindical: Agrupación Martín Fierro (Varela – Alte. Brown – Matanza – Mar del Plata,y Neuquen ), Agrup.Sindical Tolo Arce-ATE-SENASA, Agrupación “Germán Abdala” – ATE-Min. de Trabajo de la Nación, Agrup Agustín Tosco-Río Segundo-Córdoba, Movimiento de Trabajadores Desocupados Flamarión-Rosario, Democracia Popular-Rosario, Comunidad Campesina de Tratagal-Salta, Biblioteca Popular Fernando Jara-Cipoletti-Río Negro, Unión de Trabajadores de la Provincia de Chubut

Diálogo 2000 – Jubileo Sur Argentina

Espacio Ecuménico

Federación Luterana Mundial, Programa sobre Deuda Ilegítima y Justicia Ecológica

FeTERA Flores (Federación de Trabajadores de la Energía de la Rep. Arg., en CTA)

Foro de Pensamiento y Construcción Social (FPyCS)

Fundación de Investigaciones Sociales y Políticas FISyP

Fundación Servicio Paz y Justicia SERPAJ

Madres de la Plaza Línea Fundadora – Tucumán

Movimiento Ecuménico por los Derechos Humanos MEDH

Movimiento Emancipador

Movimiento Social Misionero, Juan Yahdjián - Misiones

Pañuelos en Rebeldía, Ma. Angélica Muniz

Proyecto Sur

Proyecto Sur, Bloque de Diputados de la Nación

Proyecto Sur, Bloque de Diputados de la Legislatura de la Ciudad Auton. de Bs. As.

Pueblo Diaguita, Valles Calchaquíes, Tucumán, Marcos Pastrana

Unidad Popular, Bloque de Diputados de la Nación

Adolfo Pérez Esquivel, Premio Nobel de la Paz y Presidente, SERPAJ y Diálogo 2000

Alcira Argumedo, Diputada de la Nación, Proyecto Sur

Aldo Etchegoyen, Obispo (em.) Iglesia Evangélica Metodista y vicepresidente, Asamblea Permanente por los Derechos Humanos APDH

Alejandra Noemí Stepin, Médica, CABA

Alejandro Cabrera Britos, Delegado General ATE SENASA, Dilab/ Martínez, CTA

Alfred Lecuna, Consultor en Relaciones Públicas (UNNE), Corrientes

Alicia Herbón, Secretaría de Educación, Mesa Directiva, APDH
Ana Alma, Luis Romero y Susana Moreira, Coordinación Nacional, SERPAJ-Argentina

Ángel Furlan, Coordinador, Programa sobre Deuda Ilegítima de la Fed FED
Federal Reserve
Officially, Federal Reserve System, is the United States’ central bank created in 1913 by the ’Federal Reserve Act’, also called the ’Owen-Glass Act’, after a series of banking crises, particularly the ’Bank Panic’ of 1907.

FED – decentralized central bank :
. Lut. Mundial

Antonio Riestra, Diputado de la Nación, Bloque Unidad Popular

Arturo Blatezky, pastor de la IERP y coordinador del MEDH.

Aurora Tumanischwili Penelón, Guillermo López, FeTERA Flores 

Beverly Keene, Coordinadora, Diálogo 2000 – Jubileo Sur Argentina

Carina Maloberti, Consejo Directivo Nacional – ATE-CTA

Carlos Guanciarrosa, Agrupación Enrique Mosconi, FeTERA en CTA

Carlos Loza, Junta Interna de ATE, AGP (Asociación General De Puertos), CTA

Carlos Segovia-Oscar Ragni-Noemí Alemany- Corriente Militante por los DDHH de Río Negro y Neuquén 

Clara Condenanza, Presidencia Federacion Universitaria de La Plata

Claudio Katz, Economista UBA- CONICET; miembro de Economistas de Izquierda EDI

Claudio Lozano, Diputado de la Nación, Bloque Unidad Popular

Cristina Castello, Poeta Y Periodista

Cristina Ventura, CTA Vicente López

Eduardo Espinosa, ATE en CTA, Min. Desarrollo Humano, Provincia Buenos Aires

Eduardo Lucita, Economista e integrante del EDI

Elena B. Alvarez. Docente Univ. Nac. de Lujan. Asamblea de vecinos y organizaciones por el Medio Ambiente de Lujan,

Elisa Beatriz Carca. Diputada Nacional (MC),

Elizabeth T. Jezierski, docente, Olivos, pcia. De Bs. As.

Fabian Dulio Rogel, Diputado de la Nación, Unión Cívica Radical

Fernando Pino Solanas, Diputado de la Nación, Proyecto Sur

Graciela Iturraspe, Diputada de la Nación, Bloque Unidad Popular

Héctor Carrica, Secretario Derecho Humanos, ATE Nacional

Héctor Luis Giuliano

Héctor Santarén, Movimiento Libres del Sur

Hugo Blasco, Secretario de Derechos Humanos, CTA Nacional

Hugo Milito, Rosario

Isaac Rudnik, Director del Instituto de Investigación Social, Económica y Política Ciudadana (ISEPCI)

Jaime Gabriel Farji, Ex Síndico General Adjunto de la SIGEN

Jorge Cardelli, Diputado de la Nación, Proyecto Sur

Jorge Marchini, Prof. Economía UBA, miembro Economistas de Izquierda (EDI)

José Luis Ronconi, Secretario Adjunto, Federación Judicial Argentina

Juan Carlos L. Etchegary, Constructor, Rosario, pcia. de Sta. Fe

Juan Cristóbal, poeta

Juan Yahdjian, Movimiento Social Misiones

Julio Gambina, Fundación de Investigaciones Sociales y Polìticas (FISyP)

Julio Raffo, Diputado de la Legislatura de la Ciud. Aut. de Bs. As., Proyecto Sur

Laura Verónica Sterpin, Antropóloga, CABA

Liliana Parada, Diputada de la Nación, Bloque Unidad Popular

Manuel Bertoldi, Frente Popular Dario Santillan

María Bassa, Religiosa

María Elena Saludas, ATTAC - CADTM Ayna

María Rosa González, Comunicadora Social 

Mario Mazzitelli, Sec. Gen. Partido Socialista Auténtico PSA

Marta Speroni, Militante Internacionalista por los DD. HH.

Miguel Ángel Espeche Gil, Cátedra de Derecho y Deuda Ext. Púb., Fac. Derecho, UBA

Mirta Baravalle, Madre de Plaza de Mayo Línea Fundadora

Nora Cortiñas, Madre de Plaza de Mayo Línea Fundadora

Pablo Bergel, Diputado de la Legislatura de la Ciud. Aut. de Bs. As., Proyecto Sur

Pablo Pimentel, APDH La Matanza

Ricardo Peidró, Secretario General Adjunto, CTA Nacional

Salvador María Lozada, Juez (ret.) de la Nación

Stella Maris Torre, Lic. Cs. Educación, CABA

Víctor De Gennaro, Diputado de la Nación, Bloque Unidad Popular

Víctor Mendibil, Encuentro Sindical Nuestra América - ESNA-

Regional and global endorsements

Acción Ecológica - Ecuador

Alianza Mexicana por la Autodeterminación de los Pueblos (AMAP) - México

Alternatives Asia, Vinod Raina – India, Asia

Ana Maria Masramon - Bélgica

Antonio Lechado Aranda, Málagatomalaplaza (15M) y Frente Cívico Somos Mayoría - Málaga, España

Asociacion Nacional de Industriales de Transformación, A. C., Adán Rivera – México

Babacar Diop Buuba, Professeur Titulaire à la Faculté des Lettres et Humaines (FLSH), Université Cheikh Anta Diop - Sénégal

BASE-IS, Guillermo Ortega – Paraguay

Bia´lii, Asesoría e Investigación, A.C., miembro Coalición Mexicana frente al G20 G20 The Group of Twenty (G20 or G-20) is a group made up of nineteen countries and the European Union whose ministers, central-bank directors and heads of state meet regularly. It was created in 1999 after the series of financial crises in the 1990s. Its aim is to encourage international consultation on the principle of broadening dialogue in keeping with the growing economic importance of a certain number of countries. Its members are Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, Italy, India, Indonesia, Japan, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Turkey, USA, UK and the European Union (represented by the presidents of the Council and of the European Central Bank).

Both ENDS – Holanda

CADTM Abya-Yala Nuestra America

Centro de Promoción y Educ. Profesional Vasco de Quiroga, María Atilano – México

Centro Martín Luther King – Cuba

Convergencia de movimientos sociales de los pueblos de América COMPA

Colectivo Revuelta Verde de México – México

Comité Nacional de Estudios de la Energía (CNEE) – México

Congregación Hermanas de San José, Equipo Justicia y Paz San José Global

Consejo Cívico de Organizaciones Populares e Indígenas de Honduras, COPINH Demba Moussa Dembele, Director, African Forum for Alternatives and Co-coordinator, Africa Jubilee South – Senegal

Ekologistak Martxan - País Vasco

Eric Toussaint, Red CADTM internacional – Bélgica

Frente Nacional contra la Deuda y la Pobreza FNDP, Solange Koné - Costa de Marfil

Igor Calvo, Militante de base del FNRP – Honduras

Instituto de Estudios Ecologistas del Tercer Mundo - Ecuador

Instituto Políticas Alternativas para o Cone Sul- PACS – Brasil

Jubilee Debt Campaign UK – Gran Bretaña

Jubilee Oregon - EE.UU.

Jubilee Scotland – Escocia

Jubilee USA Network – EE.UU.

Jubileo Sur/Américas

Jubileu Sul/Brasil 

KAIROS: Canadian Ecumenical Justice Initiatives – Canadá

Observatorio de la Deuda en la Globalización ODG - Catalunya, Estado Español

Ojos para la Paz , sede España

Ongd AFRICANDO de Gran Canaria – España

Partido Popular Tekojoja, Roberto Colmán, Vicepresidente – Paraguay

Pastoral da Mulher Marginalizada - Brasil

Plataforma Auditoría Ciudad. de la Deuda ’¡No Debemos! ¡No Pagamos!’ – Est. Esp.

Plataforma de Acción por un Desarrollo Alternativo – Haití

Plataforma DESCAm – Uruguay

Plataforma Global contra las Guerras, sede España 

Plataforma Interamericana de Derechos Humanos, Democracia y Desarrollo (PIDHDD)

Red ¿Quién debe a Quién? - Estado Español

Red Costarricense de Agendas Locales de Mujeres - Costa Rica

Red Mexicana de Acción frente al Libre Comercio (RMALC) – México

Red Por Tí América, Aline Castro, Brasil

Red Sinti Techan El Salvador

Rede Jubileu Sul Brasil

Sandra Quintela, economista – Brasil

Unidad Ecologica Salvadoreña UNES - El Salvador

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